Author Topic: "Crimson Skies" Build: The Doppelganger  (Read 10953 times)

August 03, 2007, 07:02:55 AM
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zerobxu

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Everybody remember "Crimson Skies"? The Xbox game, CCG, or whatever else it has going on? It's been mentioned here a few times. In case this is coming out of left field, click here for the official Crimson Skies website.

Where am I going with this? My local IPMS club decided early this year that we were going to have an in-club 1:72 Vought Corsair contest. After several delays, the contest will be next Saturday, August 11. I immediately went to Hobby Lobby and bought a $7.99 (minus 40%) Testors Corsair F4U-1 kit. This thing was horrible. Raised panel lines, no cockpit (just a pilot from the shoulders up), inaccurate landing gear--with no detail in the landing gear bays... The list goes on and on. So, I then went and bought a Tamiya 1:72 Corsair. Beautiful kit. Fantastic detail. I'm building it stock. I won't talk about it here. If you want to see me cry and whine about my self-induced problems with that one, it's in my blog. I really hate airplanes now, and won't be doing one for awhile after the contest.

I decided that I didn't want to completely discard the Testors kit, so I opted to do something completely different with it. I decided to do a Crimson Skies plane. Looking through all the pics I could find, I settled on this one: the Doppleganger, because it looks the most like the Corsair. Now, the only problem was building it.

First, the cockpit. I bought another cheap 1:72 Academy kit (P-51, I think), assembled the cockpit portion, painted it, and cut the back of it off so it would fit in the Testors Corsair (here. I realize that the Corsair didn't have floor boards and this cockpit does, but the end result isn't exactly a Corsair, anyways. I also modified the nose section of it to replace the now-removed front end of the Corsair. It looks a little rough, but it's much closer to the Doppleganger. In addition, I clipped the rear wings and rudder so they matched the Doppleganger (here).

Next was the engine. I tried using a 1:48 P-40B for that, but the results just didn't look right (here). I tried a few different things, and it still looked awful. So, I went back to Hobby Lobby yesterday and picked up a 1:72 B-25J on clearance. I don't have pictures of the engine posted yet, but the results are much closer, and that's the engine I'll be using. There's no scoop on the top to match the Doppleganger art, but I may try to come up with something (like, possibly using the scoop from the underside of the 1:72 P-51.

For the guns on the nose, I looked at a few different things, but ended up with an interesting combination of parts. For the "cannon", I took the main gun from an Italeri T-62 kit and sanded the bottom of it out to fit the contour of the nose. For the two smaller guns, I used the "bubbles"(?) from that 1:48 P-40B and a pair of Tamiya 1:35 machine gun barrels. The final results of that mess can be seen in this picture. I'm happy with the look.

I've still got a long ways to go, and time is desparately short. I'm betting that I end up taking at least one full day off work next week to finish it (and the other Corsair) up. I'm not going to deal with the raised panel lines. It's too late in the game, and I really don't care. So far I've got parts from six kits (including the Corsair, itself) in the Doppleganger. There's also some styrene in there, and likely to be more as I add something to the under-detailed landing gear. I'll try to keep posting progress here as I wrap this thing up over the next week.

Once it's assembled, it will be hand-painted in ModelMasters "British Crimson" (of course), with whatever markings I've got sitting around for it. So far, it's been a pain in the arse, but I'm pleased with the results.

Comments and questions are welcome. Thanks for reading.  :pirate:

EDIT: A certain person has pointed out to me that my post might really be helped by actually posting a picture in the post itself. And, even though he's a Canadian, he has a point. So... Here's a picture of the Doppleganger so far:



Comments (even from Canadians) and questions (no questions about Canada, please) are still welcome.  :razz:

EDIT (August 10): Fixed Doppelganger spelling.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2007, 05:35:40 AM by zerobxu »
"The parrot is the bird that talks the most and flies the worst."
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August 03, 2007, 07:21:04 AM
Reply #1

Major Blah

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Interesting build.  I find it much more fun than a standard, accurate model of the Corsair.

Your guns and cannon look nice.  I can't see clearly from the picture, but I hope you'll consider drilling out a bit more of the cannon tip.  I want to see how it looks with the engine mounted.  The first picture with the P-40B engine, at first glance I thought you butchered a VT-1 Super Ostrich.  It does have similar shape in a quick glance (well, maybe just me :bag:). 

Going for red paint scheme and not the blue from Crimson Skies?  Well I guess all the other corsair in the contest would be blue, so being the red herring (literally) wouldn't be a bad idea.  :lol:

August 03, 2007, 07:48:51 AM
Reply #2

zerobxu

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You're right--it has been a lot more fun than the "accurate" Corsair. The main cannon tip has actually been drilled out, but I may need to do a bit more with it (I hope I remember where I put my pin vise). The engine has been glued to the cut-off wing at this time, but I still need to close gaps and smooth up the spot where it's joined. And no, I promise I didn't butcher any sci-fi kits for this thing. Just those boring real-world kits.

How could I not do crimson on the Doppleganger? And you're absolutely right about the contest already being flooded with blue--unless someone goes crazy and builds the actual Corsair prototype, which I believe was either white or silver. Regardless, I think this thing will stand out in a crowd of Corsairs. Someone in the club suggested I turn make a Corsair Transformer, but I don't have the time, energy, or creativity that would satisify me with whatever results from an endeavor like that.
"The parrot is the bird that talks the most and flies the worst."
-The Wright Brothers

August 03, 2007, 08:28:58 AM
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fulcy

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August 03, 2007, 06:05:22 PM
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mtomczek

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This is looking great so far! Crimson Skies was one of my all time favorite games to play on Xbox Live. I am really hoping they make a sequel for the X360. :)

Keep up the goodwork!

August 04, 2007, 05:00:09 AM
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Marc

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Love those games!
Really cool project, will watch it closely.

August 04, 2007, 05:58:09 AM
Reply #6

FichtenFoo

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Like I said via IM this is looking great so far. Glad to see you found an engine!

August 06, 2007, 05:14:52 AM
Reply #7

zerobxu

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Did someone say Ransack?

I would not have believed it if I didn't see it. It's sick, sad, and wrong.  :razz:

This is looking great so far! Crimson Skies was one of my all time favorite games to play on Xbox Live. I am really hoping they make a sequel for the X360. :)

Keep up the goodwork!

Thanks. I really enjoyed "Crimson Skies" on the Xbox, as well. I like "sandbox gaming" anyhow, and they managed to make flying games fun again. Tough, but fun.

Love those games!
Really cool project, will watch it closely.

Thanks! This won't be 100% game-faithful (especially with the deadline so close now), but it will clearly be closely based on the Doppleganger from the game.

Like I said via IM this is looking great so far. Glad to see you found an engine!

Thanks! And yeah, I'm pleased with the engine. It's not a perfect match for the one in the Crimson Skies picture, but it works. And it blends into the existing wing well enough.

Weekend Progress
I managed to get the whole thing painted (click here for an image of that from Saturday afternoon). On Sunday, I was balancing my time between the "stock" Corsair and the Doppleganger. As a result, I put a second coat of paint on the Doppleganger--thinned dangerously for hand-brushing, painted up the pilot, the propeller, the landing gear flaps, and several other small details.

Here's a picture of where things stand right now:


It's small and somewhat blurry, but it gives you an indication of where the Doppleganger and Corsair are at. Today, I need to finish a couple small things on both planes, gloss them, apply a wash to the Doppleganger, and stain its wooden base. If I can get all that done, then I think I'm on-track for my Saturday contest.

The closer to "finished" the Doppleganger gets, the more it seems to steer away from the actual(?) Doppleganger, but hopefully the inspiration remains very clear.

Unrelated side-note: I picked up a quartet of 1:72 Polikarpov I-16's this weekend. They may be cute enough to restore my faith in aircraft modeling after this current project.
"The parrot is the bird that talks the most and flies the worst."
-The Wright Brothers

August 06, 2007, 05:56:08 AM
Reply #8

fulcy

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The Doppleganger is an nteresting build - only criticism I have of it, is the landing gear - which you obviously left as stock from the Corsair.  I would imagine the landing gear would be more of a layout similar to this proposed Luftwaffe aircraft (science, I love the crazy concepts put forth by the Luftwaffe during WWII).

http://www.luft46.com/bv/bv237.html
http://www.luft46.com/bv/bvp19401.html

August 06, 2007, 06:16:24 AM
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FichtenFoo

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Looks great so far. Interesting color choice as well. I agree with Fulcy on the gear... looking at it it gives the impression that the engine side would just tip over. Nothing to be done about that now, but if you ever do another...

August 06, 2007, 07:07:51 AM
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zerobxu

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While I was toying with how this was going to go together--as well as actually building it--I was concerned about the landing gear. I thought that even just the weight of a nearly-hollow plastic engine on the wing might be enough to tip the thing over. I was pleasantly surprised, however, when I saw that it sat solidly on the three (stock) Corsair wheels. On the engine-carrying wing, the wheel is very close to the engine, which probably helps quite a bit.

I'm not sure how the landing gear worked on the Doppleganger in the game (I failed to do thorough research), but I would be surprised if the wheels were moved further out on the wings. I thought about adding a drop-tank further out on the other wing, just to somewhat compensate for the engine, but had forgotten about it till I read these replies. I think I'll probably leave the other wing alone, as it does sit quite well as-is. The other option would be doing something similar to the wing-wheels seen on Harrier jets.

I'm really pleased with how the British Crimson color looks on the plane. Since the finished model will only closely(?) resemble the Doppleganger from the game, it's appropriate that the colors aren't a dead-on match. In my head, I'd imagined that this plane represented some previously unknown faction of air pirate. The pilot's uniform matches his plane, of course.

Actually, as I sat here writing this reply, I (just now) found a top-down view of the Doppleganger. I'm WAY off. Click here to see. By contrast, mine has the engine more-or-less mounted along the wing. Not extending the length of it. Whoops. Dammit. :yucky:

 If I'd found this oversight a week ago, I might try to correct it. I think I'm too late in the game to do much about it now. I'll have to mull it over for a good chunk of the day...

Lessons learned for the next one, I suppose.

UPDATE: I think I can fix this without completely killing myself. If I go snag another $8 Testors kit (minus 40%--love the Hobby Lobby coupons), I can just cut off the engine-carrying wing, recover as much of the engine as I can (at least the piston/propeller section), and use the 2nd kit to do the wing properly, it might work. It'll cost me a lot of time (and most definitely some sleep), but I think I can get it done. It will also address the landing gear concerns by moving them out on the other side of the engine. Thoughts?
« Last Edit: August 06, 2007, 08:03:32 AM by zerobxu »
"The parrot is the bird that talks the most and flies the worst."
-The Wright Brothers

August 07, 2007, 04:43:42 AM
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zerobxu

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Well, between attempts to destroy the other Corsair build I'm working on (attempts which appear to be successful), I started work on the new wing set-up for the Doppleganger, using scrap parts from the 1:72 B-25J and another el cheapo Testors Corsair kit. I'm not going to cut the other wing off until I'm sure I like where the new wing is going.

Tonight, I pull out the Milliput and fill in the gaps on the new wing. Here's the progress:



And, just because he's so cute, here's the 1:72 color-coordinated pilot (not quite done, but close):



Comments and criticisms are always welcome. Oh, and I found an outstanding recipe for "bacon double cheeseburger meatloaf" last night. It was good enough to convert a meatloaf-hater. I may have to post it.
 :pirate:
"The parrot is the bird that talks the most and flies the worst."
-The Wright Brothers

August 07, 2007, 05:18:17 AM
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fulcy

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Actually, I like that alot more - it makes more sense for there to be a 'straight' section of wing between the engine and main fuselage, and then the outer two wing sections should be exactly the same.  Looks good so far!

August 07, 2007, 07:47:13 AM
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Irk

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Nothin' like a little deadline pressure!!! Looks really great. Good luck on the last minute change with the wing - I think that detail will end up making a big difference.

I am unfamiliar with the game but I think the design is way cool.

Post the recipe too! You might convert some of us meatloaf haters too! (As long as you promise there isn't any vienna sausage!)
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August 10, 2007, 05:22:33 AM
Reply #14

zerobxu

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With FFF undergoing "server maintenance", I had a lot more time to model. Did you?

Actually, I took a day of vacation yesterday, just to make sure I got the Corsair and the Doppelganger (I've been spelling it wrong previously, but that's the correct spelling) done for the contest on Saturday. You're right, Irk--nothing like a deadline looming over your head to make you wonder if you shouldn't have picked coin collecting as a hobby instead.

The Doppelganger, itself, is practically done. I may add a little bit of weathering for wear-and-tear, as well as to hid some less-than-perfect putty spots. This picture is not quite the final look for it:



At the point this picture was taken, I still needed to fix a couple of spots of paint, as well as finish applying the decals. The canopy was just set on there to see how it might look. The wing swap was not without some minor problems, but nothing I couldn't work past. The biggest alignment problem turned out to be getting the wings lined up the same distance back on the fuselage--not at the same "dip" (or orientation--I'm not sure how you refer to that on planes).

This picture has all the decals, but no canopy:



You can't have everything in one place. Some of the decals came from a 1:72 P-51, while others were Ma.K. spares. The last thing I did last night was glue down the canopy. And because I wanted it to look a little more like it did in this picture from "Crimson Skies", I decided to make it an open cockpit design. Of course, the Testors kit has a single-piece canopy, so I had to put the canopy under the (Xacto) knife to get the look right.

All that's left now is probably a little bit of weathering, and as much of a display as I have time to create. Right now, I have one 1:72 pilot finished, and three more figs in various stages of work. I've also got a few odds and ends (toolboxes, etc.) that will be part of it. The whole thing needs to be finished by 1:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon, but I feel pretty good about where I'm at. I can always cut out whatever parts of the display that I don't get finished. Final pictures will follow sometime before the end of the weekend.

Comments and questions are welcome, as always.  :pirate:
"The parrot is the bird that talks the most and flies the worst."
-The Wright Brothers

August 10, 2007, 05:39:41 AM
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FichtenFoo

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Nice! That looks much better and much more stable. Great job!

August 10, 2007, 06:10:02 AM
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zerobxu

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Thanks. It's definitely more stable now. I honestly liked the smaller wingspan better, but I like the accuracy of it now, as compared to the previous take. Here's a better idea of the difference in wingspan:



That was before I sanded the putty to cover the join-seam (obviously).
"The parrot is the bird that talks the most and flies the worst."
-The Wright Brothers

August 10, 2007, 07:37:18 AM
Reply #17

Major Blah

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That was before I sanded the putty to cover the join-seam (obviously).

Really?  I am not so sure about that, without proof I won't believe in anything!  :razz:

Heh, joking aside the ver 2.0 does look much better.  Noticed you modified the tail fin as well.  As for the base, not sure about the wooden finish.  I think a simple black top would be less distracting to your wonderfully constructed model.  Well, I'm sure you have some good ideas hidden under your sleeve.  I'm excited to see your final result. 

Time to kick some aircraft guys' butts!!  :pirate:

August 10, 2007, 08:37:25 AM
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zerobxu

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"Wonderfully constructed"? "Woefully constructed", maybe...  :lol:

And yes, I modified the tail fins and the wingtips to be more in-line with the Crimson Skies Doppelganger. All it took was a razor saw, putty, and sandpaper. The right (engine-side) wing is driving me nuts, though. It just looks too plain as I stare at the pictures. It needs a stripe. Or something. Or am I just being too fussy and nitpicky about superficial details? Does anyone want to offer up some input on the wing?

As for the base, I thought about putting simple gray-painted styrene over it, with skid and oil marks, but the stain looks kinda good. I'm a sucker for pretty woodgrains. If it's not dry (or a lot less tacky) by the time I get home from work for the day, I may be going with a Plan B more along the line of what you're suggesting.

I still can't wait to see the reaction to this when I stick it in an all-Corsair contest. Blessed are the air pirates! :pirate:
"The parrot is the bird that talks the most and flies the worst."
-The Wright Brothers

August 10, 2007, 08:41:16 PM
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Anchang

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I think the wing turned out amazing.  Though I agree with you that it could use some pinazz.  The added length really helped it move towards the original design.  The model seems like it could use some really striking decals to help it stick out more.  Give it much more of a ahoy I'm a sky pirate look. :pirate: Arrrrr.
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